When the vaccine first came out I was relieved it wasn’t an option to get it right away. I needed time to think, to digest, to wrap my head around the decision. I know to some people I may sound insane or selfish or irresponsible and that to them, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a no-brainer. Flip that coin and you’ll find another group of people that, without question, will NOT be getting vaccinated. I know people on both sides. Personally, I fall in the middle of the spectrum. I believe it’s my choice and is a decision I don’t take lightly.
Luckily, our lifestyle over the winter means we’re pretty far removed from people. I’ve felt okay about my hesitation, not wildly irresponsible for it. But as vaccine availability grows and wedding season approaches, I know I need to make a decision.
Looking back on last summer, photographing weddings were as stressful as they’d ever been. While many of my couples decided to postpone and others downsized, I still ended up at a handful of weddings that gave me a tremendous amount of anxiety. Each weekend I would fear the possibility of having picked up the virus last weekend and am taking it with me to the next wedding. Anytime a grandparent entered a room, I would leave or get as far away as I possibly could. On one hand I wished weddings had been cancelled altogether, on the other hand the little bit of work I got last summer kept the business going.
I don’t want to be in that position again. I don’t anyone to have to be in that position again.
Last week I listened to a podcast breaking down the three vaccines, the progress we’re making against the pandemic, and the outlook for the future. Before listening, I, admittedly, had only been thinking about what the vaccine means for me. This individualistic thinking, I believe, is largely to blame for how out of control the coronavirus has gotten in our country. I’ve heard too many people say “If I get it I’m confident I’ll be fine so I’m not worried about it.” I’ll be honest, I’m relieved that I’m still relatively young, healthy and don’t have any pre-existing conditions. But I’ve tried to be hyper-aware of the chain reaction I could potentially set off if not extremely careful. We’re all connected. And collectively, our choices decide whether or not this pandemic will rage on.
Listening to Ezra Klein’s podcast made me realize that not getting the vaccine would be a choice made solely for myself and would mean I’m choosing to not participate in the fight against the pandemic. I’m mostly scared of the unknown, I have nothing concrete to backup my hesitation. Listening to the numbers behind the science and how the more people that get vaccinated, the more likely we are to overcome this virus, that gave me the perspective I needed to feel comfortable in my decision.
I want to feel like I’m doing my part. I want to do my job and not be in fear. I want to safely gather again. I want to hug. I want my parents to be safe. And your parents. I want to see us, as a species, get to the other side of this thing.
I’ve been embarrassed of my indecision. There’s been a battle inside my brain for months now. One voice says “get vaccinated you moron, why on earth wouldn’t you” another voice chimes in and says “be smart, your track record with modern medicine isn’t stellar”. I end up scratching my forehead in confusion and hoping no one asks me about it.
I’ve decided that it’s a risk either way. Ultimately, I believe in science and the miracle of vaccines. Chances are, you and I wouldn’t be here without them.
If you can related to my hesitation, check out Ezra Klein’s podcast episode “Finally, a COVID conversation you can feel good about.” It’s an informative and uplifting listen.